Jennifer Capriati's drug overdose: Accident or suicide attempt?

Former tennis star with history of depression takes too many prescription drugs, but family calls it unintentional

Published June 28, 2010 6:35PM (EDT)

Tennis player Jennifer Capriati is recovering from a drug overdose in a Florida hospital, TMZ reports. According to her family, the three-time Major winner and 1992 Olympic gold medalist accidentally overdosed on drugs prescribed to her by doctors.

If it was an accident, then it's unfortunate, of course. But bloggers have been quick to express skepticism and call it a suicide attempt -- and not just because it's a juicier version of the story. Capriati has admitted to struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. As a teen superstar, she faced fame and pressure at a young age much like a child actor does, and we all know how those stories often end. At 17, she was caught shoplifting, and a few months later she was arrested for marijuana possession. After a two-year hiatus from tennis, Capriati returned to the sport. The peak of her comeback came with her three Major victories in 2001 and 2002.

In 2007, Capriati said that her depression began when she stopped playing tennis. She told the New York Daily News, "When I stopped playing, that's when all this came crumbling down. If I don't have [tennis], who am I? What am I? I was just alive because of this. I've had to ask, 'Well, who is Jennifer? What if this is gone now?' I can't live off of this the rest of my life."

Below, watch Capriati defeat Martina Hingis to win the 2001 Australian Open, her first Grand Slam victory.

By Jamie Kapalko

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